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Sanger to Close Animal Facility

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is closing its animal research facility to the concern of some researchers, Nature News reports.

As Nature News notes, Sanger's animal facility was built in 2006 and has provided mouse strains to genetic researchers across the world. According to the Sanger, this move to shutter the facility comes as new approaches such as cell lines and organoids have been developed that can take the place of animal models, adding that that has led to a decreased demand for mouse lines.

"Scientific research involving mice will remain an important part of Sanger Institute science, and will continue at reduced levels in the future," Mike Stratton, director of the Sanger, says in a statement. Closing the facility will take several years.

But some researchers tell Nature News that they worry that the closure of the facility comes too soon and will affect the Sanger's ability to stay at the leading edge of research. "I'm very surprised because this decision is so wrong-headed," the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research's Robert Weinberg tells Nature News. "It is premature by a decade or two. Sanger will fall behind."